Live in the sky, or on the sea

Singapore is running out of land for its growing population. But urban planners are already considering innovative alternatives.

It’s no secret that Singapore, a country less than half the size of London, has very limited land. Since the nation’s independence in 1965, various Singaporean agencies have been reclaiming land to create more space for residential, commercial and industrial uses. In fact, over 1/7 of the country’s land was reclaimed between 1965-2015.

However, it has become increasingly difficult to reclaim land in recent years. As the country grows and coastlines approach deeper waters, land reclamation becomes less feasible. Sand export bans by Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia have also limited Singapore’s sand supply. With the country’s population expected to reach as high as 6.9 million by 2030, Singapore has to look elsewhere to make space.

Shimizu Corporation, a Japanese construction company responsible for building Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 and Ngee Ann City, is looking to build a floating city in Singapore.

The city, Green Float, will be able to house 50,000 people in a tower-like structure that resembles the Supertrees at Gardens By The Bay. The structures will have homes at the top, offices in the middle and vegetable farms at the bottom, surrounded by beaches. Constructing this man-made city would also be more environmentally friendly as compared to land reclamation.

Singapore is also looking towards utilising the space it has already used. 12% of the island is covered by roads; building above these would free up some land. One such project has already been carried out — an eco-bridge built above a highway to connect two nature reserves, that can only be used by animals.

Skybridges and midair concourses are also already part of some local residential developments. One NTU civil engineering professor explains that it might even be possible to see towns or offices built above expressways in the future.

Although none of these ideas have come to fruition yet, when it comes to solving Singapore’s land shortage problems, the possibilities are endless. Singapore is not stopping in its efforts to build a bigger and better future, even after 54 years of success.

Like Singapore, Eastspring strives to be at the forefront of innovation too. We're constantly improving on our products so clients are presented with the best products on the market. Learn more with Eastspring Investments.

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